Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Million Dollar Blocks, more

On Tuesday night I attended the weekly Chicago Hack Night event, and learned of a new web resource called ChicagosMillionDollarBlocks, The site focuses on the high costs of incarceration, and looks at this on a block-by-block level. The maps communicate a message that is also shown on other maps I've pointed to on this web site. If you're in a poor neighborhood, you suffer more than if you're in a more affluent neighborhood.

I encourage you to browse the map and become familiar with the information.

In my Twitter feed today I saw another map-based resource. The US Department of Education has created a set of maps to help people understand public school discipline and suspension and how this differs in different places, and for different students.

I'd like to see each site that host interactive data maps host a presentation like the one below, showing people how to zoom into the maps, to create jpgs that can be used in 'map-stories' that build greater understanding, increase the number of people interested in the topic, and increase the number of people spending personal time, talent and dollars trying to create change.

How to Use Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator to Make Your own Maps by Daniel F. Bassill

If you're interested in the topic featured on these maps, or in any of the other articles I've posted on this blog, send out a message on social media encouraging people you know to take a look at the articles and the web sites. Do this once a week and you're already taking an active role in making change happen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mapping Philanthropy - Combining data

For the past few years I've been using this blog to highlight mapping platforms hosted by others, in addition to showing how GIS maps and concept maps can be used to communicate ideas and mobilize resources.

Today I read an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that used two different data sources to create a map showing different levels of philanthropic giving in every county in the USA. One set of data came from a How America Gives map, created by The Chronicle. The second map, was created by the Opportunity Index. By combining data from both maps, a more comprehensive picture of giving was created. Visit the site and read the full story. Share with your friends on social media so more people take a look at this.

As you look at these maps, look for ways to recruit teams of students, volunteers and professionals who will create map stories that focus attention on specific neighborhoods of where the need for philanthropic support is greatest. In the Tutor/Mentor Connection Map Gallery, we've posted some map-stories created in past years, as examples of the type of stories that need to be written over, and over, by many different people, but for the common purpose of generating more consistent, on-going and flexible support for volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs operating in different neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities around the country (world).

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Poverty Rates per US School District - maped

This Washington Post article introduces a new interactive mapping platform shows Census Bureau poverty rates in each of the nation’s nearly 14,000 school districts nationwide. It was created by a new organization, called

I hope to see stories from anti-poverty and inequality activists using these maps to draw support to new strategies that improve the learning paths for kids in these areas.

Mapping Segregation in Cities

The New York Times has created an interactive map that maps segregation patterns in major cities, such as Chicago. Local activists should learn to use these and other data maps, in stories that draw more people into engagements that solve the problems shown on the maps.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Duplicating this discussion in different cities

I included this map of Minneapolis in a 2014 article on the Tutor/Mentor Blog.

Today I read a article, titled The Changing Face of the Heartland: Preparing America’s Diverse Workforce for Tomorrow. It's a long article, but full of maps and charts and ideas that a relevant in Chicago and every other urban area of the country. This article not only focuses on the economic need to find ways to parepar minorities for greater roles in the workforce, but talks about the type of long term philanthropic support needed to achieve desired outcomes.

One quote from the article says "We’re not talking about a pilot program or a two-year effort. … We’re talking about a 5–10 year commitment, and [dollar] numbers much bigger than what you might have had in mind. … "

We need this type of discussion, with the same use of maps, in every city. If you can point to a site where a similar article focuses on Chicago, please share it.

If you don't have the daily bulletin sent to you, I encourage you to subscribe. Some of the best writing on opportunity and equality that I've found.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mapping Event Participation as Part of Building Network

I've signed up to participate in the 2015 Connected Learning MOOC (#CLMOOC2015) and added myself to their participation map. You can zoom into this map to see who is participating from different parts of the world. I zoom into Chicago with the hope of seeing more than a few people on the map who might be taking advantage of this learning and networking opportunity.

Since 2013 I've been participating in MOOCs like this, and sharing the idea of mapping participation. The map at the left is from a Deeper Learning MOOC. It's on a different mapping platform than the #CLMOOC, but it works the same way. Zoom in to see who is participating. Again, too few people from the Chicago region.

I've been hosting Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago as part of an overall strategy aimed at bringing people together who would work to help mentor-rich non-school tutor/mentor programs become available in more of the high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago. I've created concept maps to show the range of talent needed to achieve the goals I've stated. In recent years I've used maps to show participation of past conferences. Click here to see these.

During Jan-April 2015 students participating in an Information Visualization MOOC hosted by Indiana University looked at participation for all T/MC conferences from 1994-2011 and began creating some participation maps. Click here to read the story and see the report produced by this team.

In the past couple of weeks I've participated in events that connect people from around the world, and throughout the US, via Twitter and live streaming video, and traditional face-to-face settings. These included the Global Cities Summit and the Independent Sectors Threads events. As I've participated in these events, now, and in past years, my first question is "Why aren't they mapping participation" using GIS maps and Social Network Analysis?

My second question is, "How could we influence more people to do this?" In many of these there is a lot of talk about collaboration, sharing ideas, and working together to solve problems. Yet, when I visit most web sites, the information they share is usually the information they produce. Few point to information of others, such as I do from Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites.

I created a new concept map today, pointing to organizations who are mapping data to show indicators of need. Creating a visual understanding of where poverty is most concentrated, or where water is most scarce, can help mobilize attention and focus more people on possible solutions. Instead of just pointing to your own maps, why not point to maps and data available on dozens of other platforms. That's what I do.

Drawing more users to these data sites, and teaching more people to create map stories that increase understanding and expand the number of people involved, should be a strategy of all of these different organizations. Using maps to show who is participating, how often they participate, and who is still absent from the conversation, could be part of a long-term coalition-building strategy intended to draw more of the talent and networks needed to raise funds, increase votes and build and sustain solutions in the different areas that maps highlight as areas of need.